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Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27075

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from a cold and frosty South Staffs, where cloud cover is replacing the early morning sun.

I found today’s puzzle straightforward, with only the check applied by 10a, which was my last one in, pushing it into ** territory.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.  You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a           Choose ” “ the best ” “ tool (4)
{ PICK } Triple definition.

3a           Surpassing food, kosher (5-5)
{ ABOVE-BOARD }  A preposition meaning ‘surpassing, followed by a a noun for food, especially in the context of accommodation.

9a           Accomplished daughter, single (4)
{ DONE } Abbreviation for D aughter followed by the number of times a single thing happens.

10a         Block, centre reportedly for US government agency (5,5)
{ PEACE CORPS } Homonyms (reportedly) of a synonym of block (as in ‘block of wood’) and the centre or heart of something.

11a         Mad sort, eccentric achieving fame (7)
{ STARDOM }  Anagram (eccentric) of MAD SORT.

13a         Old leader in tragedy greeting jealous husband (7)
{ OTHELLO } A well-known Shakespearian character is a charade of O ld, the first letter (leader) of T ragedy and a greeting

14a         Change involving clubs causes argument (11)
{ ALTERCATION } The symbol for the club suit inside a noun meaning ‘change’.

18a         The password confused union rep (4,7)
{ SHOP STEWARD }  Anagram (confused) of THE PASSWORD.

21a         Remove from auxiliary court (7)
{ EXTRACT }  A charade of someone who is auxiliary to the action in a film, and the abbreviation for ‘court’.

22a         Severe, the south wind close to shore (7)
{ AUSTERE }  The mythical name for the south wind, followed by the last letter (close) of shor E.

23a         One who’s often overly emotional in play group (5,5)
{ DRAMA QUEEN }  Another word for a play followed by a 1970s rock group.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

24a         No end of prime cheese (4)
{ BRIE }   Remove the last letter (no end) from a verb meaning ‘to prime’ to produce a French cheese.

25a         Massive statue by a lake (10)
{ MONUMENTAL } A statue, especially of a memorial nature, followed by A (from the clue) and L ake.

26a         Band‘s hit (4)
{ BELT } Double definition.


1d           Stand in front of pavilion at Leeds ground (8)
{ PEDESTAL }  The first letter (front of) P avilion followed by an anagram (ground) of AT LEEDS.

2d           Film fan ordered nice high teas (8)
{ CINEASTE } An anagram (ordered) of NICE followed by an anagram (high) of TEAS.

4d           Fish in river swallowed by ray (5)
{ BREAMR iver inside another word for ray (think RayT’s alter ego!)

5d           Successes against Conservatives? Independent candidates initially restrained (9)
{ VICTORIES }  The abbreviation of the Latin word for ‘against’ (as in a football fixture list) and the familiar name of the Conservatives holding (restrained) the first letters (initially) of I ndependent C andidates.

6d           Bribes help to bring in sponsors? Just the opposite (4-7)
{ BACKHANDERS }  A word for help (as in ‘lend a ___’) inside a term for sponsors or supporters.

7d           In a jaunty manner, first-rate lines written about the Italian (6)
{ AIRILY } An abbreviation for ‘first-rate’ followed by an abbreviation of a transport company that uses lines wrapped around one of the forms of the definite article in Italian.

8d           Tyrant posted abroad (6)
{ DESPOT } Anagram (abroad) of POSTED.

12d         Challenges mother, unfortunately, over in African port (3,2,6)
{ DAR ES SALAAM } A synonym of ‘challenges’ followed by the reversal (over) of a phrase (2,4) which could mean ‘mother, unfortunately’.

15d         Military command connected with revolution (5-4)
{ ABOUT TURN }  ‘Revolution’ as in ‘revolve’ rather than armed uprising.

16d         Unconcerned about a heartless judge (8)
{ CAREFREE } Acharade of one of the abbreviations for ‘about’, A (from the clue) and a sporting judge with the middle letter removed (heartless).

17d         Person supporting that woman through a depression (8)
{ ADHERENT } Put a pronoun meaning ‘that woman’ inside A (from the clue) and a depression in the ground.

19d         Models changed rarely (6)
{ SELDOM } Anagram (changed) of MODELS.

20d         Air filter (6)
{ STRAIN } Double definition. A musical air, one which ‘had a dying fall’ according to Orsino in Twelfth Night; and the filtering you might do to prevent tea leaves getting into your cup.

22d         Ring any number in department (5)
{ ARENA }  The mathematical symbol for any given number inside a department or field of expertise

Having seen BD’s comments about Apple products in the last few days, I thought I would share with you this posting I saw on another bulletin board:

“We’re an Apple household.  I have an iPad, my daught has an iPhone, and my son has an iPod.  So I bought my wife an iRon – and that’s when the fight started…”


The Quick Crossword pun { ASS } { PIE } { WRING } = { ASPIRING }

58 comments on “DT27075

  1. Agree with today’s BD rating. No problems. Unlike yesterday when it took me longer to get the iPad version to download and open than it did to actually complete. Last in was 10 a confirming my dislike of homophone clues. Otherwise all fairly straight forward. Regds to all.

  2. A similar experience to Deep Threat; a 1* solve until I got to 10a. Thanks to setter, and to reviewer.
    2*/3* for me.

  3. For me, this was one of those where, in some instances, I was sure of the answer but had no idea why. I finished it (except for 26A which stumped me for some reason) but certainly needed the hints to clarify afterwards. Thanks, Deep Threat! 2D was a completely new word for me, too.

  4. No great problems apart from SE corner which made it a four star for difficulty for me. Never heard of this mythical south wind, don’t get C for about or is that a shortening of Circa and brief for prime, oh come on surely not! For the first time for a long time I couldn’t even get the SE answers from the clues but had to look at them. A real failure for me today

      1. C is an abbreviation for circa, and prime can mean equip someone with information, as in ‘to brief’…. I also had never heard of this mythical wind, but had all the other letters so just put in the answer anyway.

    1. Hi Brian

      Chambers gives:

      ‘brief’: to give information or issue instructions to
      ‘prime’: to coach or cram beforehand with information or instructions

      So the wordplay seems fair enough – though I actually solved the clue by finding a four-letter cheese ending in E.

      There’s an article on the mythical winds in Wiki at

      1. I am suitably rebuked! Even the quick crossword has an odd word in it today, Benison, so learning is the order of today

  5. Having felt definitely out of practice lately, I was cheered to be able to complete this with the barest minimum of help. There were a few cases, mainly 22 and 24a and 12d where I knew the answers but then had to work out why, and I’m grateful for the explanations. So thanks to the setter and Deep Threat.
    Woke to a white world this morning, which makes a change from the Ozzie heat. :-)

  6. Only real difficulty was understanding why 22a was what it obviously was .If I had heard of the South wind before then it must have been erased from memory .
    Quite enjoyed it so 2* / 3* for me .
    Thanks again

  7. I also finished on 10a but found the rest pretty straightforward. Thanks to the setter and Deep Threat for the review.

    On a sidenote I spoke to crypticsue again last night – bored and a bit stiff still but as of today she can sit up and will be able to start looking aaround a bit – she just sent me an SMS so can at least see through the good eye (looking through the other is akin to looking through a lens with too much vaseline!). In anycase she says thatnks for all the good wishes and she may well be around on the blog later on in the week.

    1. Hi gnomey
      Glad to hear Sue seems to be on the mend. Please give her my best wishes when you next speak.

    2. Great news, please wish Sue all the best from me. Can’t seem to get to the Sloggers events, they keep clashing with Arsenal games, I suspect this has something to with BD not wanting them to clash with Spurs games :-)

  8. No problems with 10A here – well, not once I had the checking letters from 4,5,6 and 8D. 22A was a bit of a puzzle as I’d never heard of the South Wind – well, you live and learn, data filed away for future reference.
    Very impressed with 15D – not something I ever expected to see in a crossword, can anyone think of any more unlikely place names that could appear?

    1. Godd morning DT and thanks for the blog, I didn’t need the hints today, but had to look up a few, 10a the last one in for me, I also had never heard of this wind at 22a, I enjoyed this one some of the clues being ‘Rufusial’ IMHO, lots of clues I liked among them 20d,15d, 14a and 17d

    2. Do you mean 12d? I once saw Westward Ho! as an answer. Unfortunately this crossword anecdote is rather spoiled by not being able to remember the clue, but I think it referenced the exclamation mark in some clever way…possibly.

      I’m guessing Victoria Falls must have been used at some time.

      1. I’ve also seen Westward Ho in a puzzle, but it was many moons ago (long before the Toughie was invented. I’d like to see someone manage to get Reykjavik or Riyadh in a puzzle some time

        1. Dada clued Riyadh in Toughie 817:
          Capital investment in birthday I rushed to take up (6)

          … and Elkamere did the same in Toughie 828:
          Capital city regularly crossed by hard ground (6)

  9. Struggled with this – needed hints for 10a and 2d (new word) Had the answer for 22a but needed the hint to explain it.

    Thank you setter and DT for your much needed assistance.

  10. Unusually for me, I found this puzzle quite easy. However, a number of clues were solved in a retrograde manner (including the mythical wind.) This dilutes the difficulty AND enjoyment score (as it feels like cheating!)

    2d was a new word for me, so thanks to setter.

  11. Unusually, I found this puzzle quite easy. However, a number of clues were solved in a retrograde manner (including mythical wind.) This dilutes the difficulty AND enjoyment score (as it feels like cheating!)
    2d was a new word for me, so thanks to setter.

  12. Agree with a **/***,checked the blog for an explanation for my solution to 10a, which i had assumed to be a ‘double’ homonym which did’nt really pass muster and thanks for the confirmation Deep Threat-block and piece-i ask you! Apart from this aberration, enjoyed the puzzle.

  13. I thought that this was a really good puzzle – fairly straightforward – it took me about half the time that yesterday’s did.
    The first word of 10a held me up. I’ve never heard of the 2d film fan or the 22a south wind but as no-one else seems to have heard of them either I’m not going to beat myself up about it. 12d took me a while to untangle as I started off trying to make the first two letters and the last letter the mother.
    I liked lots of these clues – 3, 18 and 23a and 6 and 15d.
    With thanks to today’s Mr Ron and Deep Threat.

  14. I have just taken delivery of the latest edition (and my first ownership) of the BRB. Having got over the shock of finding that there are, I think I counted correctly, 1421 anagram indicators and that is not necessarily the complete list, I worked it pretty hard on this one and finished it quicker than most Rufus Monday puzzles. Same experience as others with 22a – the solution just had to fit the definition and the check letters – never heard of a wind with that name. Much the same for 10a, I did not unravel the homonyms but with the check letters the solution seemed to be the only logical one. So between * and ** for difficulty and *** for enjoyment – or do I have to use a BRB scale now? Favourites were 14a and 12d.

      1. I know it’s Tuesday. I was trying to convey that I found this Tuesday puzzle to be easier than most Rufus Monday puzzles. Then, because of the time zone I live in, I finished it on Monday anyway. So, I guess I got a little confused.

  15. Why all the difficulty with the name of the wind in 22a; it was the name of a British aircraft manufacturer, and Biggles flew them! :-)

    2D, on the other hand, was a new word for me, but so nicely clued that it just had to be the answer.

    As for so many others 10A was the last one in, and it put up quite a struggle too!

    Thanks to setter, and to Deep Threat (with whose ratings I agree).

    1. The main problem with 22A was that it ids the name of a British aircraft manufacturer and Biggles flew them! If the clue had said that, it would have been obvious, but the clue said Southern Wind which Biggles did not fly.

  16. Thought I’d really cracked this one, and then got completely stuck on 10a – so deserved my fall. Couldn’t even solve it from the hints. Gratitude to the setter for the mind stretch and to DT for hints/solutions & illustrations (esp. for 23a!)

  17. Fairly straightforward solve for me, no particular hang ups.
    I did know the wind though!

    Thanks to deep threat for the review and to the setter for an enjoyable puzzle.

  18. Thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. Found it all very straightforward apart from 2d, new word for me, but got the answer from the wordplay, 22a, got the answer but hadn’t heard of the wind. Couldn’t get the first word of 10a, didn’t associate block with piece (of wood), but it’s there in Chambers. Favourite was 23a. Was 2*/3* for me . The sun almost came out for a minute in Central London, but its gone again :-(

  19. A pleasant solve today..

    Faves : 3a, 10a, 22a, 23a & 12d.

    Snow overnight and this morning here in NL but now sunshine!

  20. Having struggled to finish, this was a 6 questionmark solve for me today.
    10a Never heard of Peace Corps.
    22a Never heard of Auster, and my phone went on the blink so I could not look it up
    24a Got brie from the e at the end. Took Deep threat to clarify. Ta
    14a “Change” I got as Alter then “Cation” ? Again Ta to DT . However I just hate the use of first letters. I can never usually spot them until after the word has gone in.
    16d I always forget “c” for circa/about
    22a Just got it. “N” for number leaving area, but this is a really daft synonym for department. Its no excuse having it in the dictionary. The way words are changing, the dictionary will be infinitely long eventually.

    1. Re 22a I took arena (ring definition) as N number in Area (Department) . Think how france is divided…

    2. The ‘C’ in the middle of 14a isn’t just a random first letter, it’s a recognised abbreviation for clubs.

  21. Easy peasy today. Couldn’t get Peace in 10 across until I went to the pub and it came to me halfway through a sandwich and a pint.

  22. Agreed, 2d a new word but only got it because of anagram. I feel sure that, way back in time, we’ve had 22a before. I got it because of the clue “severe” and then googled it without the “e” at the end. Thanks to all for enjoyable morning.

  23. Struggled with south west corner (to be honest cheated!). Thought cineaste was a film maker rather than fan (ex french teacher).

  24. I gave myself problems by answering 20D with “SCREEN” (air = broadcast, publish etc.)

    Still reckon my answer’s better (mumble mumble)

  25. Like many others last in was 10a – otherwise fairly hassle-free. Thanks for the review and to the setter of course.

  26. A nice puzzle . I had the same difficulties as everyone else, cineaste,auster,and peace-corps.Puzzles like this make me feel I’m making some little bit of progress.

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